Forgotten toyhood

Autor: North, Dan
Zdrojový dokument: Theatralia. 2015, roč. 18, č. 2, s. 329-346
  • ISSN
    1803-845X (print)
    2336-4548 (online)
Type: Článek
Licence: Neurčená licence
This essay explores the meanings and identities of toys and puppets in three Czech feature films, which collectively cover a range of animation techniques (constituting a new definition of what it means to 'play' with these toys). Jiří Bárta's Na půdě aneb Kdo má dneska narozeniny (In the Attic: Who Has a Birthday Today?, 2009), Jan Svěrák's Kuky se vrací (Kooky, 2010), and Jan Švankmajer's Něco z Alenky (Alice, 1988) all build allegorical significance from tales in which toys take on independent lives, but are always framed through their relationships to children. Each film explores the afterlife of discarded or neglected toys, dolls, and puppets, a visual representation of the imaginative investment and cultural import given to these otherwise immobile things. All three directors use toys and puppets as markers of the passing of childhood, and as compendia of cultural memory, but with different degrees of political intent and social critique.
[1] AMBROS, Veronika. 2012. Puppets, Statues, Men, Objects, and the Prague School. Theatralia 15 (2012): 2: 74–88.

[2] ASMA, Stephen T. 2001. Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads: The Culture and Evolution of Natural History Museums: The Culture of Natural History Museums. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 001.

[3] BALLARD, Phil. 2003. Magic Against Materialism: Czech Animátor Jiří Bárta Interviewed. KinoEye. 3.9 (September 2003):

[4] BARKER, Jennifer M. 2009. The Tactile Eye: Touch and the Cinematic Experience. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009.

[5] BÁRTA, Jiří. 2011. Searching 'In the Attic': A Visual Production Diary. Animation Practice, Process & Production 1 (2011): 1: 131–53. | DOI 10.1386/ap3.1.1.131_1

[6] BARTHES, Roland. 1972. Mythologies. New York: The Noonday Press, 1972.

[7] BETTELHEIM, Bruno. 1976. The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy-Tales. New York: Vintage Books, 1976.

[8] BÍLKOVÁ, Marie. 1997. The Puppet Through the Eyes of Visual Artist. Czech Theatre 13 (1997): 2–20.

[9] BLECHA, Jaroslav. 2011. The History and Scenographic Influence of Czech Family Marionette Theatres. Theatralia/Yorick 1 (2011): 1: 114–46.

[10] BRETON, Andre. 2003. Selections. Edited by Marc Pollizzotti. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2003.

[11] BROWN, Bill. 1998. How to do Things with Things (A Toy Story). Critical Inquiry 24 (1998): 4: 935–64. | DOI 10.1086/448902

[12] BUKOVINSKA, Beket. 2005. The Known and Unknown Kunstkammer of Rudolf II. In Helmar Schramm, Ludge Schwarte and Jan Lazardzig (eds.). Collection, Laboratory, Theater: Scenes of Knowledge in the 17th Century. Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2005: 199–227.

[13] CARDINAL, Roger. 2008. Thinking Through Things: The Presence of Objects in the Early Films of Jan Švankmajer. In Hames (ed.). The Cinema of Jan Švankmajer: Dark Alchemy 2nd Edition. London: Wallflower Press, 2008: 67–82.

[14] FIJAŁKOWSKI, Krzysztof. 2005. Invention, imagination, interpretation: Collective activity in the contemporary Czech and Slovak surrealist group. Papers of Surrealism 3 (Spring 2005):

[15] FRANCIS, Penny. 2012. Puppetry: A Reader in Theatre Practice. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.

[16] GRANT, John. 2001. Masters of Animation. London: B. T. Batsford, 2001.

[17] HAMES, Peter. 2008. The Cinema of Jan Švankmajer: Dark Alchemy. 2nd edition. London: Wallflower Press, 2008.

[18] JAMESON, Fredric. 1974. Marxism and Form: Twentieth-Century Dialectical Theories of Literature. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1974.

[19] JURKOWSKI, Henryk. 1996. A History of European Puppetry Volume I: From its Origins to the End of the 19th Century. Lewiston/Queenston/Lampeter: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1996.

[20] JURKOWSKI, Henryk. 1998. A History of European Puppetry Volume II: The Twentieth Century. Lewiston/Queenston/Lampeter: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1998.

[21] [KOFFLER, Sandy]. 1955. Editorial. Puppets: Magic world in miniature. A themed issue of The UNESCO Courier: A Window Open on the World 8 (1955): 3–4: 3.

[22] MAURIES, Patrick. 2002. Cabinets of Curiosities. London: Thames & Hudson, 2002.

[23] PÁSKA, Roman. 1990. Notes on Puppet Primitives and the Future of an Illusion. In Laurence R. Kominz and Mark Levenson (eds.). The Language of the Puppet. Vancouver, Washington: Pacific Puppetry Center Press, 1990.

[24] RICHARDSON, Michael and Krzysztof FIJAŁKOWSKI (eds.). 2001. Surrealism Against the Current: Tracts and Declarations. London: Pluto Press, 2001.

[25] WELLS, Paul. 1998. Understanding Animation. London: Routledge, 1998.